Bad Law: Mandate What's Right 80% of the Time

Here's where I draw the line on my liberal friends (and my conservative ones).   When you are convinced that something is the best answer or best trade or best technique 80% of the time, and you make it law.  Moderates and Independents, you know what I'm talking about.

If it's procurement, fair enough.   If someone is paying me for a service, and they want the service that is the best practice 80% of the time, that's fair to insist on it, and if I'm bidding to do that, obviously that's what I have to plan on doing.  If I don't execute, I should be subject to civil law.

Those good guys... imperfect... Hmmmm.
However, what if I have a client who really has studied what they are doing and, after careful consideration, wants the practice which is only ok to do 20% of the time?   To ban me from doing that in Vermont, when I'm servicing the 20% of New York and Boston clients for whom it's appropriate, there's a word for that.

This was a case of Vermont taking "procurement law" (best R2 and E-Stewards practices, brand new untested standards) and making it LAW.  If E-Stewards judges that 80% of export for repair is bad, and doesn't allow it, Vermont was going to go a step further and put you in jail for exporting the 20% of the time it's ok.  In the process of confusing procurement law with RCRA, Vermont used "focus material" as a synonym for RCRA hazardous materials, and used TCLP test as an OSHA standard.  It sounded "stricter", and if you buy into the poster child hoopla, stricter is gooder.

The word is called BAD LAW.  It undermines everything.  It is cynical to say that the law will never go after the 20%, that your solution is to make it easy to enforce and just use your judgement when or whether to enforce the other 20% of the time.

If 80% of gay marriages or interracial marriages are bad, they should be legal.  We are not in the business of  making state payroll officials into ayatollahs.  See?  The line works well when drawn against conservatives, too.  Vermont needs to beware the San Francisco "Tyranny of the Majority" as more liberal people relocate here.  There is a line between judgement and law.

There are lots of lists you can google and tweet which are based on this piecemeal thinking.  If it's illegal to drive while blindfolded in Alabama, how many more laws do we need to eliminate ever other thing you shouldn't be doing while driving, and how many times will those be bad 80% of the time?

The perfect should not be enemy of the good.

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